Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has expressed the hope that the achievements of the Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB) that had been formed to speed up the transition process of the new Bangsamoro government will help guide the incoming administration in finally achieving the country’s long-standing goal of attaining lasting peace and prosperity in Mindanao.
Dominguez and his co-chairman in the IGRB, Minister Mohagher Iqbal of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), presented the Body’s second progress report to President Duterte in Malacañan Palace Thursday night (June 16).
The IGRB’s second progress report documents the achievements made over the 11 meetings held by this panel since it was first convened in 2019.
Dominguez said the IGRB has become an effective mechanism in promptly addressing urgent issues affecting the BARMM transition process.
“There was always trust and goodwill on both sides during the meetings. The progress made by the IGRB is a true testament to what we all can achieve together through close collaboration and strong partnership,” Dominguez said during the event.
Dominguez thanked President Duterte for making “the historic endeavor” of bringing genuine autonomy in Muslim Mindanao a priority of his administration.
The President’s “strong support enabled us to move in a timely manner towards achieving the ideals set by the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL),” Dominguez added.
He also thanked Iqbal, along with the Cabinet Secretaries of the National Government (NG), the BARMM Ministers and the IGRB Joint Secretariat for making every meeting of the body “meaningful and productive.”
“With this report, we hope to guide the next administration in building on the significant gains we have made and in driving the BARMM’s transition process towards completion. In the remaining days of the Duterte administration, we commit to continue working hard to ensure that urgent pending issues are resolved and the transfer of work for this historic initiative with the new government will be seamless,” Dominguez said.
“There is no turning back on our quest for lasting peace and prosperity in Mindanao,” he added.
Republic Act (RA) No. 11054 or the BOL, which provided for the establishment of the BARMM, was signed by President Duterte in 2018 and was eventually ratified overwhelmingly in a two-stage plebiscite in 2019.
On Dec. 16, 2019, the members from the NG and the BARMM convened the first meeting of the IGRB in Davao City, demonstrating “the Duterte administration’s strong commitment to a fully consultative process” in completing the institutions of autonomy for the BARMM, Dominguez said.